Crock pots are a convenient accessory to the kitchen and every day busy life routine. Best crocks pots can save time and energy needed to prepare and ingest the food.
Nowadays people do not have time to prepare food for the family as it was a few decades ago. Previously man was the breadwinner. The mother took care of children and the whole household. Warm dinner and fresh food was not something special. It was a part of everyday life.
However, nowadays when everybody in a rush and has so many tasks to accomplish, eating homemade food becomes a luxury. Here crockpots can be saviors. Do you have anybody who likes soups, stews or is big meat lower? It is a most straightforward and easiest way to cook just for yourself or the whole family having warm food without spending plenty of time in the kitchen.
The recipe can be simple and not expensive to make. Just take a beautiful piece of meat, add vegetables and some of the broth, spice it up, set the mode and leave for the good. When you back home, you will be greeted by the pleasant smell of homemade food. Leftovers can be eaten next day or taken to work on the part of lunch.
What Is The Difference Between Crockpot And Slow Cooker?
Both crockpots and slow cookers cook the meal in the same way. Devices can differ by design, but the principle is the same. Porcelain or ceramic pot is in the heating unit covered with the lid. The heat comes from the heating element.
The word CrockPot is the brand name owned by SunBeam Products. The story began with Jewish grandmother from Lithuania which mother used to cook the dish in the pot and oven few hours long. The term of the crockpot is generically used widely in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Crockpots can serve in many ways as devices making soups, stews, bread or pot roast. There are no exceptions for desserts, dips, and beverages. The imagination can be your best friend especially if you have a knack for improvisation with spices and vegetables.
Benefits Of Crockpots
- Save time
- Prepare easily digestible meals
- There is plenty of recipes for various dishes
- Food can stay warm a longer time
- Safe to use and operate
- Can serve as devices long time
Crockpots can save money too. How? Cuts of meat with connective tissue are cheaper but no less beneficial. During long and slow cooking time the connective tissue starts to soften up without hardening the beef. The consistency of meat becomes easily digestible and full of beneficial ingredients such as collagen.
The food prepared in crockpots is beneficial for seniors too who have less efficiency to digest food. You can help elders to get easily digestible food. Besides it, most of the slow cookers have sturdy handles which let you carry food around. It is great that you do not need to check regularly the pot wondering that it is going to boil and spill over contents.
Everybody can benefit from crockpots. Vegetarians, meat lovers can pick recipes or use the imagination creating various dishes. It is safe to use because if you follow manufacturers directions, devices are not the rocket science.
The Design Of CrockPot
Usually, crockpots are the oval or round shape cooking pots with the lid from temperature resistant glass. These cooking pots made from ceramic or porcelain and surrounded by the heating element. The heating element is made of metal and located at the bottom of the device.
Simple mechanical crockpots do not have the temperature control and provide the constant heat for the desired content.
Other crockpots came with the timer and established the temperature settings. These pots can be programmed.
How Does CrockPot Operate?
You put the food items into the pot, add some water, broth or wine, cover with the lid and turn on. The temperature is at the 174-199 Fahrenheit or 79-93 Celsius range. It means that food is heated steadily and simmered.
The vapor from the food condenses on the lid and falls adding some liquid to the dish.
Simple crockpots which have basic settings for temperature such as slow, medium or high, must be turned on and off manually. You must monitor the cooking and turn off when the meal is done.
More advanced crockpots have timers which let you set various schedules. Electronic controls allow you pick own time and arrange the food cooking in any manner as you wish.
You can set any temperature, and when it reached, the slow cooker will automatically switch to a keep-warm setting. Food can be kept warm for hours.
Can Crockpots Be Dangerous?
There are some disadvantages for operating crockpots. If the electricity is gone and power restores again after few hours, your food can be hard to eat. People who are not careful, can spill the contents and harm themselves. Fortunately, these cases are rare, and individuals who have crockpots know how to operate them because it is effortless to do it.
You need to take safety measures to ensure that the food cooked correctly and no harmful bacteria left in the meal.
It is advisable to use temperature probe for checking or setting up the temperature. When you see that the temperature reached the wanted level, the slow cooker will turn to the keep-warm setting.
Buyers Guide For Crockpots And Crockpot Style Slow Cookers
Slow cookers are good for soups, stews, and tough cuts of meat. If you are not crazy about the perfect preparation of food and you just want nutritious and tasty meals saving time and money, crockpots and crockpot style cookers are for you.
These devices are comfortable to operate and clean.
There are two types of slow cookers:
- Basic type mechanical slow cooker
- Programmable slow cooker
What do you need to pay attention?
- For sturdy handles to carry food
- Removable ceramic pot
- If you do not like clean around buttons and knobs, the touchable area would be convenient for you
- There are additional features such as roasting racks, wrap around cord storage or insulated carrying bags
- Lids from the glass. Some of the slow cookers have plastic lids. Other devices have split lid which can hinge. You can serve food or check it lifting one side. At the same time, another half of lid covers the rest of pot.
- The locking feature lets you carry food from one place to another without spilling or hurting yourself.
- Capacities can be from 1.5 to 8.6 quarts. It is advisable do not fulfill the whole pot. You can leave one-third empty leaving space for steam and avoiding spills.
- Slow cookers come in an oval, oblong-the oval or round shape.
Let’s Check Some of The Best Crockpots
Crock-Pot-6-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker
The crock-pot slow cooker is a simple but useful tool to make your dinner without fuss and emptying the wallet. The crockpot is stylish and fits comfortably on the countertop. 6 quarts guarantees for you and your family full meal because the whole chicken can fit into the slow cooker.
Item Weight: 14.8 pounds
Item Model number: SCCPVL610-S
Benefits Of Crock-Pot 6-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker
- The crockpot is spacious. You can cook the whole chicken
- Heavy plastic handles let you carry the crockpot without slipping over
- The insert made of ceramic stoneware
- The rubber seal around the lid protects from the rattle
- The heat distributes evenly and slowly when in high mode
- The ceramic glaze of the cooker does not contain lead
- The crockpot can be inserted into the oven without the lid
- The device can be programmed from 30 minutes to twenty hours
- Crockpot is for standard 120V AC outlets only
- No retractable cord
- You can not use the stove top for heating
- You can not fill up the full insert, only2/3 to 3/4 of the way of entire pot
- The crockpot does not have the spout for pouring out the liquid. However, you can use spoon soup for it.
The crockpot is useful for making meals for the family or just couple people. You do not need to fill up the whole thing. The lid has the locking feature which lets you carry food from one place to another or on the go without spilling. The glass lid allows checking the meal without opening it.
The programmable feature and digital timer make for you easy to set any time for slow cooking from 30 minutes to twenty hours. Overall the crockpot is easy to use, set time and clean up after the cooking done and the meal savored.
Hamilton Beach 6 -Quart Programmable Slow Cooker
Manufacturer: Hamilton Beach
Item Shipping weight: 14.4 pounds
Hamilton Beach programmable 6-quart slow cooker makes your life easier because it saves the time and money. You can eat fresh food because you know what kind of ingredients you use.
Benefits of Hamilton Beach 6-Quart Slow Cooker
- The slow cooker is spacious to cook for the whole family of 5
- The pot can contain a 4 pound of roast or a 6 pounds of chicken
- You can set any desired temperature
- The device automatically switches off and turns to the warm mode when it done
- The lid contains clips. You can safely carry the pot to the different place without spilling contents and harming yourself.
- The slow cooker has temperature probe which lets you see how the food cooked.
- The lid has rubber around it which does not let the liquid collect around the edges
- The crockpot has the cord storage underneath of bottom
- The slow cooker is comfortable to use and clean
- The slow cooker takes generous space on the counter.
- The device is too large for a single person unless you are expecting the big crowd in your house.
Hamilton Beach 6 -Quart Programmable crockpot is the affordable device which can cook food for you when you away from home or through the night. You set temperature and how long you would like to cook. The device will do the job for you. You do not need manually switch off because when cooking done, the crockpot turns to the mode to keep the food warm for you.
Crock-Pot 6 Quart Slow Cooker
Item weight:12.4 pounds
Item model number: SCCPVL600-R
Crock-Pot 6 Quart slow cooker is the simple mechanical device. You need to set modes such as warm, high, low modes manually. It is simple to operate. The pot made from stoneware, the safe material to prepare food.
Benefits of Crock-Pot Slow Cooker
- Settings are easy to pick such as warm, low and high
- The food heats evenly
- You can serve the food in the removable stoneware. Just put on the beautiful protective pad placing it on the table because it is hot.
- The warm mode lets keep food ready to eat at any time as you wish.
- The crockpot has the lid with clips. You can carry the device to party, tailgating or family gatherings
- You can lock the crockpot using clips on the lid when you keep the food in the refrigerator
- The stoneware is safe to use in microwave, oven, and stovetop
- The removable pot is dishwasher safe.
- The price does not break your budget but will provide you with the device which prepares for you hot meals
- The lid becomes hot when the crockpot cooks the food. You need to be careful not harming your bare hands.
- It gets heavy when the crockpot is full of the food
- You can not fulfill the whole pot, just 2/3 of it.
Crockpot 6-Quart slow cooker is a simple and reliable device without confusion how to use it. You just turn the knob turning on and setting up the wanted mode. The crockpot is spacious. You can put the whole bird in it and have delicious dinner after few hours. Tough meat cuts will be soft and ready to enjoy. Of course, you can add vegetables, spices. The crockpot is good for the family of 5 or 6.
The crockpot is safe to travel because the lid has clips. You can take a potluck to church or your neighbor party. The lid clamps tight. You do not spill the food.
Hamilton Beach 8 Quart Slow Cooker
Item weight:7.58 pounds
Manufacturer: Hamilton Beach
Model number: 33182A
Hamilton Beach 8 quart slow cooker has the 8-quart capacity, what lets you prepare the food for big gatherings. Any occasion what involves hungry people will benefit from Hamilton Beach slow cooker. A big piece of meat such as 6 pounds of roast of eight pounds of chicken will cook nicely in this large stoneware pot.
Benefits of Hamilton Beach 8 Quart Slow Cooker
- The pot made of stoneware, material safe for food preparation
- The pot is eight quarts big. However, you can not fill up the whole unit
- The slow cooker has sturdy handles to carry around
- Manual settings are simple and without confusion: keep warm, high, and off
- The lid can be secured with rest when taking the meal from the pot
- The lid rest enables drips back to the dish
- You can make various dishes with the slow cooker
- On the side of the slow cooker is a handle to wrap the cord around
- The slow cooker comes without lid claps. It means that you need to be careful bringing the food to the family gatherings, church or tail-gating.
- The device can be hot. You need to be careful with handling.
- The glass in the lid is tinier compared with other crockpots
- When you buy the device for the first time, you need to wash before using it. It is better to heat some water and spill out before putting food items.
The Hamilton Beach slow cooker completes tasks efficiently and without the big fuss. The large capacity lets to prepare the whole bird such as chicken or beef roast. It can make big batches for potlucks. The device is simple to use, set up and clean after cooking delicious dishes.
The slow cooker has sturdy handles which let you carry pot without throwing it on the ground. From another side, you need to be careful because the lid does not have claps. You need to watch how you handle this device carrying from one place to another.
Hamilton Beach Programmable 5 Quart Slow Cooker
Item weight:12.8 pounds
Manufacturer: Hamilton Beach
Model number: 33957
Hamilton Beach oval programmable 5-quart slow cooker makes easy for your to cook a 5-pound chicken or 3-pound roast slowly.
Benefits of Hamilton Beach 5-Quart Slow Cooker
- The slow cooker has sealed lid
- The pot made from stoneware
- Handles are sturdy and comfortable to carry food around
- Program settings are easy to use
- You can choose programmable temperatures or set manually low or high modes for the convenient cooking time
- The capacity is plentiful for the small family of three
- The device is comfortable to use and clean
- Great value for the money
- Lid locks assure safety when taking the pot to family gatherings or moving around
- The ladle lets you taste food straight from the pot
- The crock-pot does not burn the food
- When transporting slow cooker, the cord autowinds into the unit
- The device can be hot in the low setting
- You need to wash device before using for the first time
- When you cook, you need to keep handles in the up position because if handles are down, you can burn your fingers. Of course, it is common sense, but people can leave handles in the down position without lifting them up.
Hamilton Beach programmable 5-quart slow cooker makes job efficiently. Any food will be cooked at any your desired time. You just need to follow recipes or use imagination creating new dishes. The crockpot can handle a full chicken or roast easily. The device sets the warm mode automatically after the end of cooking food.
Hamilton Beach Silver Slow Cooker
Item weight:11.21 pounds
Manufacturer: Hamilton Beach
Item model number:33861
Hamilton Beach slow cooker is slightly different from other Hamilton Beach slow cookers. This device has Flex Cook mode. It lets you select three cooking options. These options are:
- Flex Cook mode when you program two heat settings and cooking times
- Program one heat setting and cooking time
- Manually set up modes: high, warm up and high
Benefits of Hamilton Beach Slow Cooker
- The slow cooker has six quarts of capacity
- The lid has rubber seal preventing steam escape from the pot
- Sturdy handles enable you safely carry the pot around
- The black strip on the lid is permanent
- Stay or Go tight clip allows you to transport the pot anywhere you go or travel
- The Flex Cook button lets you choose the desirable heat: the low or high setting
- If you have the recipe which tells you to cook the meal at the high temperature so long and after it, cook the dish at the low temperature for the particular time, the Flex Cook setting will benefit for this case.
- You can program the cooker and leave the rest to it. When cooking is done, the device will switch automatically to the warm mode till you are ready to serve food
- Screens show the temperature settings and the remaining cooking time
- Display lights turn from blue to green showing when cooking is done
- The slow cooker automatically switches to the warm mode when the cooking is done. It keeps the food warm for you until you are ready to serve
- The warm mode does not influence food quality. It does not overcook it
- The Hamilton Beach cooker is silver color on the exterior. It is metal.
- It is easy to clean
- The Power Interrupt Protection keeps the crockpot going during short power outage
- The device comes with booklet of directions
- There is no delay option in this slow cooker
- The total cook time is twenty-four hours. Otherwise, you need to turn off manually
- The cord is relatively short, 24 inches long. You need to adjust the location of the crockpot in your kitchen.
The Hamilton Beach silver 6-quart programmable slow cooker is a device which will prepare hot meals when you wait for friends, or you just return from the job. The device is easy to use. Flex Cook settings let you choose temperature and time for cooking options and make the device work for you. The slow cooker heats meal evenly, around sides and base. The lid clasp prevents from the spilling hot food and lets you carry without danger. The Power Outage Protection keeps the crockpot going on during the brief disappearance of voltage.
Hamilton Beach 6-Quart Programmable Cool- Surround Slow Cooker
Item weight:7.95 pounds
Manufacturer: Hamilton Beach
Model number: 33265C
Hamilton Beach 6-quart slow cooker lets you cook dinner or meal for the whole family or friends gatherings without rush, mess, and worries that the food will be cold. Slow cooker differs from others that it has cool sides which stay colder compared with other slow cookers. You can set programs and let the cooker do the rest without constantly checking out it.
Benefits of Hamilton Beach 6-Quarts Slow Cooker
- The slow cooker saves the energy
- The device is simple to program from the lowest to higher temperatures
- Manual settings are available such as off, high, warm, and low heat
- Handles assure that you do not burn yourself because they are cool-touch made
- The device is comfortable to operate and clean
- The insert dish is non-stick and made of aluminum. It makes me uncomfortable because of the usage of aluminum associated with dementia.
- There is no cooking guide for this device
The Hamilton Beach 6-quart programmable slow cooker is lighter as other because the cooking pot is of aluminum. Stoneware is a lot heavier. You can use the pot on the stovetop to sear meat before the cooking. The heat is distributed evenly around the whole pot. Simple push buttons make the entire process of cooking and reheating light and easy to perform. From another side, you need to be careful with a nonstick surface. If you scratch hard, you can make bruises and damage it.
Hamilton Beach Intelli Time Slow Cooker
Item weight: 11.5 pounds
Manufacturer: Hamilton Beach
Item model number: 33564
Hamilton Beach Intelli Time slow cooker can prevent from overcooking your food. No mushy vegetables anymore or dry food! You can set wanted temperature for your food, and when it has done, the device will automatically switch to the warm mode. You can use manual settings too. These settings are warm, low, medium, and high.
Benefits of Hamilton Beach Intelli Time slow cooker
- Manual mode works best for foods which cook for less as four hours
- The insert pot is made of ceramic
- The pot is microwave and oven safe
- The lid is made of glass and has a rest
- The has steel rid around
- The most extended cooking time is twelve hours
- The ceramic pot is lead-free and huge
- The slow cooker has the 6-quart capacity and has the right size for six pounds chicken or four pounds roast
- The slow cooker does not have a locking mechanism for travel or bring to any area of your gatherings.
- You can not cook frozen meat in the slow cooker. Never. First, you need to thaw the food
- The slow cooker does not have power outage protection. You need to rest device again when electricity disappears.
The Hamilton Beach IntelliTime slow cooker is good for the family of six or seven. It works for people who are not at home and come back after 8 hours finding tasty meals warm and appealing. The food cooks evenly and keeps all texture intact. There are no mushy vegetables. However, the meat with plenty of connective tissues becomes soft. The collagen melts and is well digested.
Crock-Pot 7-Quart Manual Slow Cooker
Item weight: 13.85 pounds
Item model number: SCV700-SS
Crock-Pot 7 quart slow cooker is the oval shape. It can feed the family of four comfortably and leave you with leftovers. The seven-quart capacity lets you cook the whole chicken inside or a small turkey. Manual settings are easy to use. It is not a brainer.
Benefits of Crock-Pot 7-Quarts Slow Cooker
- The insert pot is stoneware
- You can remove the pot from the heating form and easy clean
- Manual settings are Off, Low, High, and Warm
- The heat distributed evenly around the stoneware pot
- The stoneware pot is oven, microwave, and dishwasher safe
- The pot tested by third accredited labs with the reason to meet safety standards
- You can make yogurt with this slow cooker
- The slow cooker makes tasty bone broths, soups, stews, roasts, meatballs and whatever you wish from the recipe book
- You can not use stoneware pot in the broiler
- The pot becomes hot when working. You need to be cautious and do not touch it with bare hands
- The lid does not have clasps. You need to be careful when carrying the pot around
- You can not saute vegetables on the stove using stoneware pot
- The slow cooker does not have the timer
- The slow cooker does not shut off automatically. You need to turn off by yourself
Crockpot Stainless steel 7 -Quart slow cocker is a simple device which prepares you delicious meals. Manual settings are easy to grasp. It is not high science. You set mode and let device to do the job. However, you need to switch off manually because there is no timer and switch off function. This crockpot is the classic version of slow cookers which are simple to use and do not have digital features.
Elite Platinum 8.5 Quart Programmable Slow Cooker
Item weight: 14.55 pounds
Manufacturer: Elite Platinum
Item model number: MST-900D
Elite Platinum slow cooker is enormous. It is the oval shape and has 8,5 quarts of capacity. You can feed two families from this pot. You can cook turkey breast or beef roast easily. The handles are sturdy and cool to touch. It means that it is comfortable to carry around.
Benefits of Elite Platinum 8.5 Quart Slow Cooker
- The device made of stainless steel
- The slow cooker has the timer for setting up wanted temperatures
- It can be programmable for 20 hours
- The pot is ceramic, removable, and dishwasher safe
- The lid made from tempered glass and has the cool touch knob
- The digital pad is comfortable to use and clean
- Handles on the device are lower and stay cool all the time. It lets you carry pot around without burning yourself
- The display on the slow cooker shows how much time is left and it counts down by minutes
- The slow cooker is a heavy one
- The slow cooker does not have clasps on the lid and does not lock
- The surface of the device can be hot while cooking
- You can not program to start the cooking at the specific time
- There is no rubber seal between lid and pot
The Elite Platinum 8.5 quart digital programmable slow cooker is ideal for big gatherings. The vast capacity lets you cook big chunks of meat, though cuts or vegetables. Materials are safe in this device because the insert pot is ceramic and cannot be easily scratched.
It is easy to use the setting wanted time to cook and later on switching it off. The twenty hours is an extended period of cooking.
Safety Points For Crockpots And Crockpot Style Slow Cookers
Slow cookers seem to be unaffected devices. However, you deal with food. The meat is highly perishable and prone to catch germs.
Fortunately, there is no high science to keep yourself and family safe.
There are slow cooker safety tips:
- Hold the meat in the refrigerator until preparation separately from vegetables
- Thaw the meat and poultry before putting it into the slow cooker
- Do not fill the whole pot with the food. Check manufacturers manual for instructions.
- Avoid putting the hot ceramic pot into the refrigerator because it can crack
- Do not place a cold ceramic pot into the preheated slow cooker. Assemble them and let warm up together.
- If the power disappears, finish cooking the food on the stovetop or the gas grill.
- Discard the food even it looks fine.
- Use a conventional stove for heating leftovers until internal temperature of 165 Fahrenheit. Never use the slow cooker for warming up already cooked food.
Let’s Wrap Up
Crockpots, or slow cookers are devices which save time and energy for us without fussing up in the kitchen. You can experiment with spices adding various types and tasting what is best for you and your family.
What I like about these devices that I can save the money too. I do not need correctly looking vegetables or tenderloin. Though cuts of meat are better because connective tissue melts down becoming jello like consistency in the dish. The collagen from these tissues is beneficial for our bones, joints, and skin.
I guess that you know how our skin is intact and does not hang down as it goes with bulldogs? Do you know? The net, widely speaking is made from collagen and keeps skin cells in shape. With age and when we lack minerals and nutrients, the collagen starts to break down leaving our skin vulnerable and prone to wrinkles.
The food in the crockpot is easy to digest and does save time and money. We can enrich the meal by adding some fresh spices such as cilantro, turmeric or some soaked seeds or nuts. We will get more vital nutrients in this way because the heat, in the long run, destroys enzymes and most of the vitamins.
All crockpots and slow cookers have great feedback from hundreds of happy customers. Do you own a slow cooker? It would be nice to hear your opinion. Please leave a comment below if you have some thoughts or questions.
Update: I saw movie Elvira Mistress Of The Dark a few years ago. After writing this review, I remembered the famous scene when Elvira has revenge on town people with her meal in the pot.
I hope that you will not make this type of jokes on your family or friends.
So it happened that I explored one book about the foods. The scientist told that overcooked foods gave negative impact on our health. Meat charcoal broiled, deep-fried or fried contains carcinogens.
The meat does not bring the damage to our bodies. The cooking method does. Why does it happen? Over millions of years, people ate food which requires enzymes for digestion. Unfortunately, the overcooked food contains proteins which change configuration thanks to the high temperature. Now enzymes cannot help to digest food. Free radicals become nasty and create problems.
Besides it, overcooked food loses nutrients, is hard to eat. In this way, crock pots can help to make healthy meals such as stews and pot roasts.